Victory! Atop the Cliffs of Moher.

Seeing victory in maintenance

Victory! Atop the Cliffs of Moher.
Victory! Atop the Cliffs of Moher.

Sorry for being totally MIA for a few weeks. I was actually out of the country.

I don’t get to travel often, and I love, love, love traveling and seeing the world and experiencing new cultures. This time, I got to go to Ireland (and the UK) for a few days. It was beyond beautiful, and I feel so grateful for being able to go and explore with my cousin Annie.

I got back, and I weighed in yesterday, and saw that I was exactly the same as I was before my trip. Historically, I would take a trip and lose a few pounds just from the sheer amount of walking done. I was quite active on the trip (more on this later), but I am also significantly more active now than I was when I had traveled previously.

The last time I took a major trip was back in 2010, just a few weeks after I had started Weight Watchers. I went to Madrid and Tenerife. Before I went, I had no plans for activity, but I did have plans to eat my face off. Because, you know, the best way for me to instantly connect with a new culture is through food. That’s still part of the experience of travel—and I definitely enjoyed the local food and drink while in Ireland—but it’s not what it’s all about.

Here are a few changes that I observed between my November 2010 trip to Spain versus my 2012 trip to Ireland:

1. Jetlag and overall feeling

I remember landing in Madrid, and the only thing I wanted to do was sleep. I was exhausted. To the point where I was falling asleep during conference lectures. It was horrible. I felt like the walking dead.

I was very scared that I was going to suffer from major jetlag when I went to Ireland, but, to my pleasant surprise, I experienced near zero jetlag. I got off the plane, got to the hotel, showered, and then spent the entire day exploring Dublin by myself. I have to attribute this at least partially to where I am now physically. Not to mention that I wasn’t constantly in pain because of my feet or my back. It was amazing to just walk around and not worry about my body aching.

2. Crossfit abroad

At Crossfit Dublin!
At Crossfit Dublin!

When I went to Madrid, I had also been doing Crossfit for about a week. I remember Caleb sending me an email full of WODs I could do from the road. At the time, I thought it was very thoughtful and sweet. But did it ever pass through my mind to actuallydo them? Ahem. Hell no.

This trip? Well…call me a nerd, but the very first thing I did once I was showered and set for my first walkabout in Dublin was to find the nearby Crossfit. (And, I actually went out of my way to book a hotel within easy walking distance to Crossfit Dublin.) I only got to go once, but I was SO excited to go and WORK OUT on my VACATION with other Crossfitters! What an amazing experience! What a powerful connection to make!

3. Enjoying my photos

Touch this three times for 10 years of good luck! (At the Old Jameson Distillery.)
Touch this three times for 10 years of good luck! (At the Old Jameson Distillery.)

One of my biggest regrets of my Madrid trip, in retrospect, was looking at the photos of me. I felt like I ruined photos of beautiful scenery because of the way I looked.

This trip? Well…let’s just say I’m fairly pleased with my photos. I was able to enjoy the sites and not worry too much about a triple chin or if a certain angle didn’t work well. What a relief!

4. Being active outside

Yay! Outside! (At a ~6th century church on Inis Oírr.)
Yay! Outside! (At a ~6th century church on Inis Oírr.)

During the Madrid trip, I did a fair amount of walking around the city, but when we got to Tenerife, aside from lounging on black sand beaches, I tended to stay in the apartment, and hang out on the balcony while my travel mates took hikes and enjoyed the scenery.

The issue was, not only am I not super outdoorsy, but hiking or doing anything active outside was SO intimidating that I would not even try. I was afraid of sweating, and I was afraid of looking like an idiot and panting and being out of breath. So I just avoided it altogether.

The Ireland trip? Well, I packed up some Vibram-soled shoes and took to it.

Hiking Hag's Head at the Cliffs of Moher.
Hiking Hag's Head at the Cliffs of Moher.

I hiked the Cliffs of Moher.




That entailed jumping a few stone walls, trekking through mud and up hills. And it was AMAZING. And I can’t believe how much fun it was!

And I wasn’t even winded!

On a stone wall, overlooking the city and the ocean, on Inis Oírr.
On a stone wall, overlooking the city and the ocean, on Inis Oírr.

I did a several-hour walkabout on Inis Oírr, one of the Aran Islands.

Hiking around the Burren.
Hiking around the Burren.

I hiked around the Burren. More climbing around big rocks. More walking. More stuff.

And honestly, after this trip, I can’t imagine going someplace and saying NO to seeing the sites from an outdoor activity. I can’t imagine NOT having seen the Cliffs of Moher from the hike we did. I can’t imagine seeing the Burren from the road. But a year or so ago, that’s exactly what would have happened on this trip. I would not have been physically capable of doing most of the things I did. I would have complained the whole time about how this or that hurt, and I would have just wanted to hang out at coffee shops.

The other thing I learned?

Well, if you couldn’t guess by what I’m already saying…traveling isn’t JUST about food. Like I said, I definitely enjoyed my fair share of ciders, Irish Coffees, potatoes, and scones. But I did just that—I enjoyed it. I didn’t make my trip ABOUT food.

Instead, I connected with the culture and the people through being with the land and the places. It was amazing. Absolutely amazing. And I am so, so grateful.

So I maintained this week at weigh-in? Yeah. I’ll call that a victory.


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Exuberant photographer, artist, writer, designer, wannabe chef, and Crossfitter.

4 thoughts on “Seeing victory in maintenance”

  1. Pingback: Epic meal time «

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